David Prior

The David J. Prior COPLAC Award was created in 2012 to recognize two senior-level undergraduates whose academic careers and future goals have been shaped by the transformative power of the liberal arts and sciences experience at a COPLAC institution. Each student's reflective personal essay highlights one or more of the following features of COPLAC's student-centered approach to teaching: emphasis on active learning, ethical reasoning, interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge, community engagement, critical and reflective skills, and connections between liberal learning and informed, active citizenship.

The legacy of David Prior - his career-long commitment to superior undergraduate teaching, his desire as a consortium leader to make the outcomes of an education at our public liberal arts institutions widely recognized, and his deep concern that all students, regardless of financial circumstances, have equal access to a high-quality education anchored in the liberal arts and sciences - is the inspiration for this award.

2016 Winner

Nathaniel Duggan, University of Maine at Farmington

Nathaniel Duggan is a dual English and Creative Writing major in his senior year at the University of Maine at Farmington. He primarily writes fiction and poetry. A Maine resident, he has many pieces that include rocky coastlines, pine trees, and deep-sea crustaceans. After graduating, he'd like to pursue an MFA in creative writing.
Read his essay here.

Honorable mentions go to Carmelo Pampillonio (UNC Asheville, read his essay here), Leandra Griffith (SUNY Geneseo, read her essay here.), and Breon Haskett (Georgia College, read his essay here.)

2015 Winner

Ryan Lindsay, University of Alberta's Augustana Campus

Ryan Lindsay, an Outdoor Education/Physical Education major at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus has been named the recipient of the 2015 David J. Prior COPLAC Award
Read his essay here.

Honorable mentions go to Lydia Godwin (University of Montevallo, read her essay here.), Justine Lazatin (SUNY Geneseo, read her essay here.), and Sheryl Murray (University of Illinois at Springfield, read her essay here.).

2014 Winners

Jane Jackson

Jane Jackson is graduating this year from Fort Lewis College with a degree in U.S. History. Growing up in Wyoming and spending time exploring the Western United States has given her a keen interest in western history. Her senior thesis was a study of the uranium industry in Moab and its connection to the establishment of Canyonlands National Park. After graduating, Jane plans on following her passions for climbing, exploring, reading, and writing for a while and looks forward to see what else life has in store for her.
Read her essay here.

Sherry Leung

Sherry Leung is a senior at SUNY Geneseo, majoring in History with Adolescent Education certification and with a minor in Sociology. A native of Fresh Meadows, New York. Sherry has taught in New York City, Hong Kong, and Ghana. She was the recipient of a 2013 Geneseo Volunteer and Service award for her personal dedication to serving the Geneseo campus and community. Next year, Sherry will be working with City Year in Manchester, New Hampshire, mentoring and supporting at-risk students.
Read her essay here. You can also watch a video of Sherry reading her paper here.

Honorable mentions go to Gregory Bukowski (Ramapo College of New Jersey, read his essay here.), Leah Kuehn (University of Maine Farmington, read her essay here.), Corey McClintock (UNC Asheville, read her essay here.), and Leah Tams (University of Mary Washington, read her essay here.).

2013 Winners

Cory Young

Click here to read Cory's essay.

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